Ancient settlements

Nobody knows for sure when the first people came to Steigen but Stone Age settlements as old as  6,000 years old have been found in the area. A closer and more familiar story is from the Viking era, specially from Engeløya. Here still remain a number of tracks, burial mounds, boathouse and defenses. Some of the findings are outside, in  the historical museum in Tromso, and culture is still a living part of Engeløya: Every July a Saga representation is performed at  Engeløya. Last one was from July-2 August 2015. See more about the Viking era settlement and Engeløya here:

Battery Dietl

During World War II the Germans built one of Europe’s largest coastal fortifications at Grådusan on Engeløya, to defend the entrance to the Vestfjord and Narvik. Here stood three enormous Adolf guns, which could fire across the Vestfjord. Several thousand Russian prisoners of war had to work at the facility, and over five hundred had to pay with his life. Bunkers and fortifications are found across the entire area. Apart from the cannons, which were removed, the plant is well preserved and the museum is open during the summer season.

The islands around Manshausen

Grøtøy and Måløy are the two largest islands. They are located just outside Manshausen and both offer great hiking terrain. On Grøtøy, which was the headquarters of the old trading center, one can still stroll along the old overgrown alleys, and up to the viewpoint that the Germans established during the ww2. Måløyy, which is the largest island, has fine beaches, trails, very  special rock formations at the tip of the island as well as numerous islets and reefs outside. There is also a disused nickel mine in Måløy, an old outport, Småvær, and the harsh and beatherbeaten lighthouse Maloy Skarholmen, furthest out towards Vestfjord.

The large sandy beaches, Bøsanden on Engeløya and Brennviksanden at Helnessund, are kilometers long and great places for family fun or a jog.

At Angerøya and Sandøya you will find stunning white beaches of coral sand that is accessible only by boat or kayak. We also have a great beach on Manshausen, and there are several good sheltered beaches in Grøtøyleia. On Flatøy it is worth mentioning that there is a floating jetty which you can tie your boat to, and a path up to the lighthouse, with great views of Vestfjord. Engelvær consists of a number of islets and reefs right out towards the Vestfjord. The islands are now a natural reserve  because of the abundant bird life and offers excellent opportunities for photographing a variety of species, with the sea eagle being on top of the food chain.

Culture

We are now in the realm of Knut Hamsun, nobel price award-winner and the writer of many novels including Markens Grøde which was partly authored in Hamarøy, right next to Hamarøyskaftet. The Hamsund center at Presteid is accessible by car or boat.